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Formentera unveils 2020 budgets

presentacio---pressupostos-2025Formentera’s president, deputy vice president and economy and tax office councillor —Alejandra Ferrer, Ana Juan and Bartomeu Escandell, respectively— met today at local government offices to present the administration’s spending plans for 2020. The Consell de Formentera’s €30.1-million budget is 0.3%, or €90K, smaller than last year’s.

President Ferrer described the budgetary line as “a continuation of previous budgets”, pledging to “use the money to keep pushing policies that can take the island closer to sustainability and people-centred policies”. In fact, Ferrer pointed out that “the current plan is to keep pushing formentera.eco (scheme to regulate incoming vehicles) while at the same time developing sustainable mobility and public transport”.

Estany des Peix and nursery home
According to Ferrer, regulation of Estany des Peix is included in the budgets under the header “preserving emblematic landmarks”. A line item has also been set aside to complete the final stage of construction on the nursery home. Ferrer asserted that the first budget of her term also centred particularly on fomenting civic participation.

The vice-president, for her part, pointed out that the 2020 budgets —the first of the current legislative term— “are the product of efforts on both sides of the Gent per Formentera-PSOE governing team” and were designed “to put people front and centre in policies—particularly as regards social and environmental sustainability”.

Councillor Escandell gave a detailed overview of the 2020 budget plan, underscoring the fact that “the current budget is the Formentera government’s 13th, the 9th that was agreed between GxF and PSOE, and the first to be presented by a woman president of the Consell de Formentera”. The local head of the economy and tax office added “these are realistic spending plans in defence of budgetary estability. We’re spending only as much as we’re taking in, and continuing in the line of zero debt”.

Urban upgrades
Among the investment planned for urban betterment projects are the following: phase two of upgrades on Avinguda Joan Castelló i Guasch in Sant Francesc (€715K), Sant Ferran children’s park (€210K), improvements in the green area in eastern Sant Francesc and skatepark (€550K) and, finally, upgrades in Es Pujols as part of phase two of a works project that will be tendered during the first half of 2020 and is scheduled for completion by year’s end.

Sustainable island
Standouts among the projects related to the island’s overarching model for sustainability include the €650K push to reorganise and regulate moorage at Estany des Peix. The bid to cap and count incoming vehicles on the island will also continue to move forward, as will €350K in public transport upgrades and €130K in organic solid-waste treatment improvements.

Other efforts will include developing executive plans for mobility and waste management.

Money is also envisioned for efforts to recover iconic heritage sites, for example, through the refurbishment of Can Ramon, a historic home that will be dedicated to cultural purposes, and the continuation of the island’s Catalogue of Trails (Catàleg de Camins), not to mention the purchase of valuable heritage sites like Es Campament.

Public Participation
Policies of citizen participation will be renewed as well, as with €325K for the participatory budgeting initiatives of the Consell d’Entitats. The budget even incorporates €325K from the 2019 budget for initiatives chosen last year and still pending execution.

Senior citizens
The officials also emphasised other star initiatives at the presentation, such as €1.1 million for construction in 2020 of the Sant Ferran Escoleta, and €700K to complete the nursery home. Efforts will also be focused on developing local strategies for children and youth.

17 December 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Formentera's 2017 spending already made public

The Formentera Council tax office reports that the administration's general accounts for 2017 are far along in the review process and will soon be submitted to Sindicatura de Comptes (the “Court of Auditors”).

The public process, anything but opaque, has transpired to the full knowledge of local political groups and islanders. A special advisory committee issued a favourable report in November. The general accounts were made open to public review over three weeks, as the December 22, 2018 issue (number 160) of the official gazette of the Balearic Islands attests.

The next step in the process, definitive approval, is expected to come in plenary this February. Following that, and pursuant to the established procedure, the general accounts will be submitted to Sindicatura de Comptes.

Formentera joins calls for funding reform in the Balearics

foto plataforma financiacioThe Formentera Council reports that two administration officials —first deputy chair Susana Labrador and tax office secretary Bartomeu Escandell— have met this week with spokespeople from a group called Platform for Fair Funding in the Balearic Islands.

The tax office chief underscored the importance of “getting our islands a REIB that makes good on all the funding deficits we've got with Madrid”, using an initialism that refers to a proposed “special funding regime” for islands in the archipelago. The Formentera Council, said Escandell, “has always maintained our region doesn't get the funding from Madrid that it should”, confiding that that was behind the administration's decision to join the chorus of calls for a fair funding scheme for the Balearics and Formentera.

The Platform's goal is to educate politicians and society so longstanding pleas for a funding adjustment are finally heard. Their hope is to bring ordinary people on board as well, so Balearic society be fully united in its call for appropriate funding.

Among several of the group's appeals is a call for a new funding model; acknowledgement (via adoption of the REIB) that islanders face significant differences due to geographical circumstances; progressive and substantial increase of investment coming out of Madrid; payment of still outstanding corporate investments; shared responsability with Madrid for the region's debt; measures to ease airport congestion and repeal of the so-called “Montoro Law”.

'Període voluntari de pagament de rebuts periòdics' helps islanders get a jump on their taxes

foto-atib1The tax office of the Formentera Council announces the rollout, from August 1 to October 1, of an option to make income tax payments ahead of the normal deadline.

This year the Balearic Islands tax agency (ATIB) has introduced a service called “Virtual Wallet” (“Carter Virtual” in Catalan). Baked into the ATIB website, the new system allows people to track, print and pay fees so they can get payment alerts during the voluntary pay period.

Notice containing a special code will be sent via post to taxpayers, who must enter the ATIB website armed with their national ID card.

Besides issuing alerts and creating the possibility of early payments on one-off fees (rebuts) and municipal levies (tributs) for real estate, vehicles and business activity, the system also lets islanders to pay the regional tax on vacation rentals and camping sites.

Pay notifications can also be obtained in person by visiting the ATIB office at 9 carrer Eivissa in Sant Francesc.

Please contact formentera@atib.es with questions, or visit the office directly.

On the agenda: 2018 participatory spending

foto CdE 2018A meeting of the Consell d'Entitats took place this Tuesday in the plenary hall of Formentera's dependent care centre. Spokespeople from groups on the island heard progress reports on the initiatives that received money in 2017 from the Council's “participatory spending”, or pressupostos participatius, initiative. Attendees agreed on a timeline to present proposals and got a peek at the application process.

2018 spending
The gathering also aimed to inform community leaders about the three projects launched in 2017 under the aegis of participatory spending. One envisioned an accessible sailboat, recently added to the sailing school's fleet. The other two initiatives —a kids' park and a fitness circuit for seniors in Sant Ferran— are scheduled to receive attention in 2018, pending the Council's acquisition of the land.

Tax office secretary Bartomeu Escandell gave an overview of the €26.9 million spending package the administration will direct in 2018. For three consecutive years, the Consell d'Entitats has been charged with choosing how to invest 10% of that money. This year and last, that worked out to €325,000.

An agreement was reached concerning the deadline for project proposals. Local groups will be given all the necessary information to prevent repeat projects, and the Council will make its own services available to assist hopefuls in preparing their bids.

All of the projects suggested will be reviewed for viability. Once those results have been shared with the Consell d'Entitats, the body will have until May to fix a selection process.

The associations included on Formentera's registry of civilian groups have increased from 96 last year to 104. Of those, a total of 78 are active in the Consell d'Entitats, compared to 71 in 2017.

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